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Avram McCarty receives Hites Scholarship

Avram McCartyTen two-year college students have been named recipients of the 2013 Phi Theta Kappa Hites Transfer Scholarship, receiving a total of $75,000 to assist in the attainment of baccalaureate degrees. Representing the Alpha Nu Zeta Chapter of Big Sandy Community and Technical College is Avram McCarty, Kentuckys first Hites Scholar.

The Hites Transfer Scholarship Program, made possible by support from the Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation and the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation, supports the outstanding academic achievement of Phi Theta Kappa members.

Scholarships of $7,500 each were awarded to 10 students based on applications submitted by members. Students enrolled in associate degree programs and eligible for transfer to a regionally accredited baccalaureate degree-granting senior institution in the fall of 2013 were eligible to apply. Judges reviewed and scored applications for academic rigor, engagement, and leadership. The 2013 Hites Transfer Scholars were selected from more than 2,300 applicants.

"When the Hites Foundation and Phi Theta Kappa joined together a few short years ago to take the initial steps toward establishing the endowment, none of us anticipated the severity of today's economic challenges facing both students and colleges," said Phi Theta Kappa's Executive Director and CEO Dr. Rod Risley. "The Hites Transfer Scholarships are helping to meet a need that becomes more crucial every day - helping our students follow through on their commitment to complete by providing financial assistance to make earning a baccalaureate degree possible. We are grateful for our partnership, and we congratulate these 2013 Hites Transfer Scholarship recipients."

The 2013 Hites Transfer Scholarship recipients include Magoffin County native Avram McCarty, of the Alpha Nu Zeta Chapter of Big Sandy Community and Technical College, Prestonsburg, Kentucky.
In 2007, the Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation challenged the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation to raise $350,000, which would be matched almost 2-1 by the Hites Family Foundation to create the $1 million scholarship endowment. During the Society's 2009 Annual Convention, Foundation Trustees announced that Phi Theta Kappa had not only met, but exceeded the challenge, and the Hites Foundation issued a second, equally-successful matching challenge. In 2010, the Hites Foundation gave an additional $250,000 grant to the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation for the scholarship endowment, providing more scholarships for Society members.

The Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation was established by Robert Hites, an executive with Ralston-Purina in St. Louis, Missouri. Upon his retirement he fulfilled a lifelong dream and became an instructor at St. Louis Community College.

Robert Hites turned down opportunities to teach at prestigious senior institutions because he valued the educational experience offered by community colleges, and he witnessed the determination and will to succeed of his community college students. He also came to understand their needs, and was determined to help them achieve their dreams, as he had achieved his.

"Anyone managing 'financial' investments recently has had their work cut out for them," said Ray Hites, President of the Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation. "However, 'investing' in students ... 'investing' in education ... 'investing' in future generations of Phi Theta Kappa members and helping them achieve their goals and dreams. Those are 'timeless investments' ... 'recession-proof' investments."

The Phi Theta Kappa Foundation is focused on long-term financial stability for Phi Theta Kappa. It is dependent upon the generosity of individuals, organizations, foundations and corporations to ensure its future.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Miss., is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, plus Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Vigin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.

For most Kentuckians, higher education begins at the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Our statewide system of 16 colleges, more than 70 campuses and 97,000 students is a critical component to transforming the states economy by providing citizens with the education and training needed for high growth, high wage careers. For more information, visit kctcs.edu.